ACBDD Approves Employees’ One-Year Contracts

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New one-year contracts have been approved for two administrative employees with the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

The Board approved contracts with Butch Withem and Steve Kramer. Withem is the transportation and facilities director for the agency, while Kramer is the business manager.

Withem has been a long term employee of the Board according to discussions during the meeting and Board member Barbara Brown-Lindsay questioned why, given Withem's time with the agency, he was not being awarded a multi-year contract.

Brown-Lindsay twice made motions to extend the terms of the contract, first to three years and then for two years. Both motions were dropped for the lack of a second.

Jennifer DeForest, a board member, emphasized that given the financial situation the board could do no more than one year.

Vice President Pam Bond stated that it was not a personal decision against Withem, but that given the current financial situation she was not in support of a longer contract.

Board member Terry Conry stated that the board had been cautioned by the prosecutor's office about multi-year contracts, but did not elaborate other than to say that discussions on that topic were not complete.

Board members indicated that the results of the levy on the ballot this November could have an impact on services, such as transportation, which is part of Withem's position. Therefore, a longer contract could be risky with the outcome unknown at this time.

The Board, along with Young, Kramer and Beacon School Principal and Director of Education Maryalice Turner, met in executive session with Athens County Assistant Prosecutor Rob Driscoll for a little more than an hour during Tuesday's meeting. The closed door session was to consider appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion of compensation of a public employee.

The executive session came prior to the approval of any new business including the contracts for Kramer and Withem. There was no indication that the session was connected to either individual.

Upon returning from executive session, Board President John Day stated that no action would be taken regarding to the matter discussed.